by Whitney Flach
Practical Farmers of Iowa is now accepting registrations for its 2017 annual conference. The theme is “Pass It On,” and the event will take place Jan. 20-21 at the Iowa State Center Scheman Building, on the Iowa State University campus.
This year’s theme celebrates the impact of farmer-to-farmer learning on farmers’ confidence to explore new or different farming practices, and their ability to improve farm profitability and land stewardship.
Attendees will learn from their farming peers about different approaches to conserving money and soil; growing and marketing a range of crops; keeping good-quality financial and production records, accessing land and capital, and more.
The conference last year brought 900 farmers, researchers and supporters.
The 2017 conference has a keynote address by three well-known Iowa farmers: Susan Jutz, of Solon; Vic Madsen, of Audubon; and Dan Wilson, of Paullina.
There will be 42 sessions on topics that span from production to marketing, and farm transfer to business planning. Attendees can learn how to vertically integrate livestock production, roller-crimp cover crops, start farming in a high tunnel, grow small grains profitably, pay for end-of-life care without losing the family farm, be profitable in a no-till system, farm with a deep-winter greenhouse, conserve traditional-breed pigs, and more.
Some sessions are geared to non-farmers looking to have an active role in their food and farming system, and beginners looking to establish successful farm businesses.
There will be eight networking, and interactive sessions on current topics.These sessions will be set up as either Q&A’s or roundtables, where attendees will have a chance to engage more deeply on topics of interest, and ask detailed questions.
There are also many opportunities to network and build relationships with other farmers, researchers, consumers and sponsors from different parts of Iowa.